Unsolved World War II mysteries and well kept secrets.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Amazing Metal Detecting Finds, Third Reich in Ruins, Nazi Gold, Treasure Hunt, War Footage, WWII collectors: Militaria & Memorabilia, SS Rings, RC panzers.
What was the purpose of German Kugelpanzer, a round ball shaped tank
Kugelpanzer, or âball tankâ,lacks official records, but we know at least one prototype existed and was captured by the Russian Army in 1945. The Kugelpanzer can now be seen at the Kubinka Tank Museum outside Moscow. What on Earth was this vehicle intended to do? there are some precedents that were actually constructed, including the German World War I Treffas Wagen.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Mystery as 14,000 Second World War dog tags found buried in field
A relic hunter's groundbreaking discovery could see thousands of families finally recover precious memorabilia of relatives who served during the Second World War. Dan Mackay, a self-styled relic hunter, has uncovered a hoard of more than 14,000 dog tags buried beside an anti-aircraft battery close to London - including those of British soldiers who fought and died during the Normandy landings.
Photo mystery of Jewish assassin Herschel Grynszpan used by Nazis to justify Kristallnacht
His assassination of a German diplomat in Paris gave the Nazis the pretext for sanctioning Kristallnacht, the violent pogrom against Jews on 9 November 1938. Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew considered a controversial figure to this day, was widely believed to have perished in a camp during the 1940s. But a photograph discovered in the archives of Vienna's Jewish Museum now appears to show that Grynszpan survived the war. The snapshot, taken in Germany in 1946, shows the then 24-year-old in a gathering of displaced persons. Its discovery effectively clears up one of the most enduring mysteries of the Nazi era.
6 Unsettling Mysteries of the Spanish Civil War
Outside of Spain, the Spanish Civil War exists in a strange pocket of history. Fought between the left-leaning Republicans and the falangist Nationalists from 1936 to 1939, it's often overshadowed by the rise of the Third Reich and the events leading up to World War Two. Before the end of the war and the establishment of a Nationalist government (supported by both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), an estimated 500,000 people died and thousands fled into exile. The Spanish Civil War left its share of mysteries, too, buried in the annals of a dark period in 20th century history.
Wewelsburg: Inside Heinrich Himmler's Nazi Castle where he lived out medieval fantasies
Jackbooted SS thugs once paraded in Wewelsburg Castle as Heinrich Himmler held court wearing full medieval costume because he was convinced he was the reincarnation of a medieval king called Henry the Fowler. Even Adolf Hitler thought Himmler was a pfennig short of a Reichsmark. But the Fuhrer let the SS chief live out his fantasies in a castle that is now one of Germany's top tourist attractions, along with the site of Hitler's bunker in Berlin and the Nazi Party parade grounds in Nuremberg. Since a £5 million revamp completed in 2010 thousands of visitors have flocked to the SS's spiritual home till then a sealed, silent monument to mass murder.
Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich's Enduring Mystery by Benjamin Carter Hett
Just over eighty years ago major violent event occurred in Berlin, then early in the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich, with Hitler installed as chancellor but not yet in possession of dictatorial power. Just after nine o'clock on the evening of 27 February 1933, passers-by heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the Reichstag and, shortly afterwards, saw flames beginning to light up the inside of the building. Fire engines were summoned and brought the blaze under control, but it was too late to save the debating chamber. Arriving on the scene, Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and the interior minister, Wilhelm Frick, declared that the arson attack was a Communist plot, designed, as Goebbels put it in his diary, 'through fire and terror to sow confusion in order in the general panic to grasp power for themselves'.
The biggest unanswered questions of World War II cryptology
(1) In the late 1930's the US State Department adopted the M-138-A strip cipher as its high level crypto system. In 1937 the Japanese were able to copy the strip set 0-1 and they passed these to the Germans in 1941. How bad was the compromise of the State Department's high level system? (2) In 1941 the NKVD's codebreaking department controlled the single largest concentration of mathematicians in the Soviet Union. What did these people do during the war? They couldn't have spent all their time solving German low level hand ciphers. How many Axis and other foreign cryptosystems did they attack? How many could they solve? (3) In 1942 the Germans organized a group tasked with solving enemy agents codes (department Vauck). During the war they solved enemy codes. How successful were they during the war? We do not know.
New book identifies the couple in iconic WWII "Kissing Sailor" photograph
It is an image that captured an epic moment in U.S. history - a sailor locked in a kiss with a nurse in New York City's Times Square at the end of WWII. For decades, the identity of the pair in the 1945 photograph has been disputed. Now, a new book promises to resolve the long-held mystery by revealing George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman as the couple. LIFE launched a bid in 1980 to identify the couple, and a flood of war veterans and nurses came forward to claim their kisses were recorded. In new book "The Kissing Sailor", author George Galdorisi and co-author Lawrence Verrie use forensic analysis and photographic interpretation to identify the persons involved.
Rudolf Hess: The enduring mystery of Hitler's deputy's flight to Scotland
Hitler's Deputy Rudolf Hess parachuted into a Scottish field 70 years ago. He was arrested by pitchfork wielding ploughman David McLean on Floor's Farm near Eaglesham, south of Glasgow, in what was to become one of the strangest cases of World War 2. Ever since, mystery has surrounded the Nazi leader's trip. Conspiracy theories have raged about exactly what Hess was doing in Scotland at the height of the war and why official records of the case are under seal until 2017.
Search launched to trace the artist behind a mysterious WWII mural at the Ness Gun Battery in Orkney
A search has been launched to track down the artist behind a mysterious World War II mural - signed AR Woods - in the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. Soldiers stationed at the Ness Gun Battery - which guarded one of the entrances to the Royal Navy base of Scapa Flow - created the image.
Previous attempts to figure out the identify of the mystery artist - using war records - have failed.
For more information about the Ness Battery visit 'Heritage Key website'.
Historian claims to have finally id'ed WWII "Man Who Never Was"
Professor Denis Smyth claims to have proved the identity of the "Man Who Never Was", whose body was used in a plot to mislead the Nazis. As the Allies prepared to invade Sicily in 1943, they wanted to fool the Germans into thinking that their attack would be aimed elsewhere. A body was dumped in the sea, to be discovered by Axis forces, carrying fake documents suggesting the invasion would be staged in Greece. Yet to this day, just whose body was used in "Operation Mincemeat" has remained a mystery. In a coming book, Smyth claims that the dead man was a homeless Welshman called Glyndwr Michael.
Reincarnation? 2-year-old knows everything about a fighter pilot who died in WWII (see the video)
The book "Soul Survivor" is the story of James Leininger, who, after 2nd birthday, began having nightmares. He screamed out phrases like: "Plane on fire! Little man can't get out!" As details of his plane and names continued, parents Bruce and Andrea Leininger pieced together that he was reliving the past life of WWII fighter pilot James Huston (shot down by Japanese). James id'ed pilot's comrades when he met them and knew details about Huston's childhood (comfirmed by his sister) that no one knew. Also read what skeptic Ken Gross, who helped to write the book, said
Mystery: British names on Auschwitz list - British POWs or British Waffen SS soldiers?
Auschwitz historians are calling for help after finding a mystery list of 17 British names hidden in a bunker in the Nazi death camp. The names were discovered by accident during routine preservation work and have amazed local historians. Some think they may have been Jewish POWs who were sent to die after capture. The surnames include Osborne, Lawrence and Gardiner - and behind 8 of the 17 names is a tick. Others think the list might contain names from some of the British Waffen SS unit that fought on the side of the Nazis in Second World War. Polish authorities are to ask for permission to search British military archives for answers.
Mystery surrounds mass graves in Malbork (photographs)
In the Polish city of Malbork, once part of German West Prussia, one mass grave after the other has been unearthed over the years. Some of the skulls have bullet holes: Are they the victims of a monstrous crime? The current excavation is being led by Zbigniew Sawicki, the archaeologist at Malbork's castle museum - and so far no forensic experts have been called in. The search for clues leads to the last months of World War II. What has been documented is that as the Soviet soldiers passed through villages, again and again they shot male civilians and "took" women. "The battles were really tough," Victor Zalgaller, a former Red Army soldier recalls.
Heroes or collaborators - Fresh investigation into the Velser Affair
The province of North Holland has agreed to partly fund a new probe into the Velzer Affair, an unclear WW2 case involving the betrayal of communist resistance fighters and collaboration with the Nazi occupiers. So far there have been 12 inquiries into the case as well as dozens of books, including the novel "The Scandal" by Conny Braam, along with several films like "The Girl with Red Hair." But despite all that, the truth has not yet emerged. According to some historians, Velzen's chief of police and several officers collaborated with the Nazis and some of them were members of the Dutch National Socialist Party (NSB).
Great WWII mysteries: What you would like to know - threat at Axis History forum
Some of the questions troubling members of the Axis History forum: Who betrayed the members of the Secret Annex? What happened to Raoul Wallenberg? Who was the woman with Hermann Fegelein in #10 Bleibtreustrasse in the very last days of the war? What happened at the Baugnez crossroads during the Battle of the Bulge? What happened to Hermann Fegelein's body in Berlin? What the Foo Fighters were and what really took place in LA during that famous air raid? The facts behind the Rudolf Hess flight. What happened to Gestapo Mueller? Americans in Waffen SS and how many exactly served under the Nazi flag throughout the war.
Divers want to solve mystery of underwater Centaur CS IV tanks
A diving club is determined find out whether World War II tanks discovered on the seabed are two of only 4 left in the world. Southsea Sub-Aqua Club will send divers down to take pics and video footage of what they think are Centaur CS IV tanks. They will also try to figure out how they were lost, given there is no shipwreck nearby. The tanks, of the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group, lie 8 miles off East Wittering, West Sussex. They were part of an 80-strong contingent bound for France on D-Day but sank in mysterious circumstances. The divers think the tanks are Centaurs because of the photos of an earlier dive.
Answers due on WW2 mystery of Australian warship HMAS Sydney
A remote-controlled sub scouring the wreck of HMAS Sydney has revealed clues to a WWII battle that cost over 700 lives. But the mystery remains: What caused Australia's worst maritime tragedy? Did a German torpedo sink the pride of the navy? Or was it an explosion in the ammunition storage area that ensured that none of its 645 crew would survive? The Germans' account of the battle was doubted: If the ship was able to limp away why was there no sign lifeboats? Were the survivors shot to death? "All you can say so far is that the Germans' descriptions are very accurate," says Naval historian David Stevens.
The Great Los Angeles Air Raid Mystery - What happened over L.A. in 1942
What showed up on military radar screens on Feb. 24, 1942, causing a blackout and an 1-hour anti-aircraft barrage? Could it have been enemy aircraft? Was it a weather balloon, or UFO? "What have we learned? Not much," said Steve Nelson, curator of the Fort MacArthur Museum. --- On Feb. 25, radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles from L.A. and at 2:15 a.m. anti-aircraft gun batteries were alarmed. The number and type of aircraft seen varied from 0 to 220 and from airplanes to balloons to a blimp. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson said that 15 aircrafts had flown over LA. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said that is was a false alarm.
Zipper pull and other artifacts found on Nikumaroro linked to Amelia Earhart?
Amelia Earhart set off a mystery when she vanished over the Pacific in 1937. TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) members found a small brass zipper pull during their 3 week scouring of Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner Island) in 2007. Members speculate that the plane crashed on or near the island and that Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan spent their final days there. The zipper pull is one of many artifacts collected from the island. "Now we have this site on the island that is producing artifacts that speak of an American woman in her 30s, and the only one missing out there is her," said said Ric Gillespie.
The Mystery of Adolf Hitlers Globe Goes Round and Round
Hitlers globe is missing. Cartographer Wolfram Pobanz is sure that its not the one in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, with the Russian bullet hole through Nazi Germany. Neither is it the one in the Märkisches Museum, the Berlin history museum, nor the one in a geographical institute. Manufactured in 2 limited editions in Berlin during the mid-1930s (the second edition changed Abyssinia to Italian East Africa), the real Columbus globe was the size of a Volkswagen, and more expensive. A wood base was designed to support it, but custom furniture stands were made for Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Pobanz has been tracking them down. "We called it the Führer globe."
Woman pursues mystery of Dachau album with a signature: Porulski (Article no longer available from the original source)
Arrival, enslavement, torture, death - the 30 pictures in album expose the worsening nightmare in Dachau. Now, Shari Klages wants to make the album public. Scholars call it historically unique. But who drew the pictures? Only Klages' father, who brought the album back from Dachau, could know. But he committed suicide in 1972. The only clue was a signature at the drawings: Porulski. ... She, Michael Berenbaum and Avi Hoffman began chipping away at the album's secrets at the Dachau memorial, where they found an arrival record for artist Michal Porulski. They also discovered that the album's binding was most likely from the recycled leather of an SS officer's uniform.
Is "Kissing Sailor" mystery solved - Glenn McDuffie in photograph?
Yet another man has come forward claiming to be the sailor in the 1945 Life photograph "The Kiss" - taken in Times Square Aug. 14, 1945, Victory over Japan Day, by Alfred Eisenstaedt. This time experts say Glenn McDuffie is the one -and he has taken lie detector tests to prove it. "When I got off the subway I got to the top of the stairs and the lady up there said, 'Sailor, I'm so happy for you.' I asked her why and she told me the war was over... I ran into the street jumping and hollering. That nurse was out there and she turned around and put her arms out and that's when I kissed her. Then I heard someone running ... and it was that photographer."
Could WWII photo locate looted Nazi gold known as Rommel's Gold
A young German soldier poses with his parents in an old photograph. It is typical photo soldiers would have had taken during the early days of World War II to remind them of family. But this particular snapshot holds a secret that could unlock a mystery: the whereabouts of a hoard of looted Nazi gold. For scrawled in fading blue ink on the back of the photo is a code which investigators hope will locate Rommel's Treasure: a cache of ingots and jewellery hidden by the SS. Terry Hodgkinson said: "We have now worked out the code and are pretty confident of where the treasure is. We feel certain that the latest techniques can be used to retrieve it."
The mystery of World War II memorabilia found in hidden room solved
The mystery of World War II sailor Vernon Peyron has been solved. After homeowners Sarah and Nicholoas Hofeldt in Pocatello began a remodeling project, they discovered a sealed off-space that contained World War II memorabilia -- photographs, certificates, letters, books -- centered around Peyron. But the trail went cold until the Idaho State Journal did a story, which was noticed by one of Peyron's brothers, Bob Peyron.
For sale: World's smallest country - a former World War II fort
A former World War 2 fort in the North Sea, which was declared a state with its own self-proclaimed royal family, is up for sale. The tiny Principality of Sealand, which began life as Roughs Tower in 1941, is a 550 square metre steel platform perched on two concrete towers 11km off the coast of Harwich, eastern England. Although its nation status is disputed, Sealand boasts a military past, defending its sovereignty. Britain's Royal Navy attempted to evict Former British army Major Paddy Roy Bates but were unsuccessful. As they entered territorial waters, Roy of Sealand fired warning shots from the former fort.
History or hoax: WWII message of Germany's surrender 1945 (Article no longer available from the original source)
Nazi Germany was done. Bombs had devastated its cities, and the revenge-minded Russian infantry was heading into Berlin. It was spring 1945. But how did Harry Truman and other American leaders learn of Germany's surrender? Chuck Loesch summons images to convince skeptics that he is in possession of the first official declaration of Germany's submission. He's selling it on eBay for $100,000. Or trying to. First auction expired without anyone offering his price. He said he planned to try again soon. His first chore is to make believers out of potential bidders, and some historians are making that difficult.
Nazi sailor key to Australia's battleship mystery
A former Nazi sailor living in South America may hold the key to solving one of Australia's greatest wartime mysteries, the sinking and disappearance of the battleship HMAS Sydney. Shipwreck hunters have tracked him down and believe he holds clues about exactly where HMAS Sydney sank after being torpedoed by a German raider, the Kormoran 1941. The latest clues come from Reinhold Von Malapert, one of the last-known survivors of the Kormoran. He was the German raider's chief communications officer.
Netaji's death mystery could be solved by 2020
The mystery surrounding Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death may be solved by 2020 when the British government will release classified documents. The Indian government rejected the Mukherjee Commission's conclusion that Netaji did not die in an air crash in Taiwan in August 1945 -- but the Taiwan had already rejected the official Indian theory saying no plane crash took place in the country during Aug 15-18 in 1945. Nephew Subrata Bose said the ashes that were kept preserved at the Renkoji temple belonged to a Japanese soldier named Ichiro Okura who died of a heart ailment Aug 19, 1945.
Flag fight with Marines: WWII photograph of five Marines
Eugene Foley is taking on a Leatherneck icon: the famous World War II photograph by Joe Rosenthal of five Marines and a Navy medical corpsman raising the US flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. Foley says the flag came from his vessel, the USS Eldorado, an amphibious force command ship and the flagship for Adm. Richmond K. Turner, who led the 500-ship invasion fleet. The Marines say the flag came from LST 779, a tank-carrying transport ship that beached at the base of Suribachi. The Navy's official account squares with the Marines', but the Coast Guard has its own version: The flag came from LST 758.
Nazi treasure may be hidden under well - Nazi items found (Article no longer available from the original source)
The secret of a deep well in the Zbiroh chateau, west Bohemia, may be soon uncovered. Experts found a false bottom in the well where a Nazi treasure is allegedly hidden. War survivers mentioned the existence of the false bottom. Historical sources claim that there is a secret medieval passage under the well bottom, where members of the Nazi staff kept stolen valuable items. Owner Oldrich Selenberk told his team has not searched the bottom thoroughly since it may be risky. Last year they uncovered Nazi documents there, and a week ago 20 weapons. They have been digging in the filled-up well for over a year.
Map may reveal Churchill secrets
Mystery surrounds a map which experts believe may provide new information about plans to defend England from invasion in WW II. Auctioneers want help to verify claims made for the document, thought to have been used by Winston Churchill. A label on the back says it was "reputedly used in 1940 in connection with the defence of SE England". Mullock Madeley, which is selling the map next month, has drawn a blank so far in verifying the map's history. Experts are appealing for information about the map. The label claims the map was used by Churchill at "Tall Trees" in preparation for the expected German invasion.
Man seeks answers to mystery gun (Article no longer available from the original source)
Shrapnel rained down on James Aguilar as he furiously shoveled a foxhole in the woods of northern France. His orders were shouted by an Army sergeant: "Dig in! Dig in!" Clunk. His shovel hit something hard. Aguilar unearthed a strange package, quickly tossing it aside. It spilled open to reveal the dull gleam of a muzzle. Forgetting the bomb blasts for just a second, Aguilar pocketed a gun unlike any he'd seen before.
Mystery surrounds crashed WWII bomber (Article no longer available from the original source)
It's one of the largest aircraft to crash in Australia and up to 10 lives could have been lost when it hit the waters off Cape York during World War II. But no one knows the identity or country of origin of the massive bomber, discovered in 6m of water off the northern tip of Australia. "It would be easily the biggest aircraft, or as big as the biggest aircraft, ever to have crashed in Australia."
The Mystery of Hitler's Lost Art Collection
Art experts have long been fascinated with the story of Adolf Hitler's dream of creating a huge museum in the Austrian city of Linz. Book "The Brown House of Art" by historian Hanns Christian Löhr looks at where the Nazi leader's collection came from - and where it went.
Last dive for Lake Toplitz's Nazi gold
It has inspired numerous expeditions, several mysterious deaths and plenty of books. But 60 years after Nazi officers hid metal boxes in the depths of Lake Toplitz, a new attempt is being made to recover the Third Reich's fabled lost gold. Treasure hunters have been flocking to Lake Toplitz ever since a group of Nazis retreated to this picturesque part of the Austrian Alps in the final months of WWII. With US troops closing in and Germany on the brink of collapse, they transported the boxes to the edge of the lake, first by military vehicle and then by horse-drawn wagon, and sunk them.
Sunken sub may end wartime mystery
Paul Tidwell, a shipwreck salvager, could be about to answer one of the most intriguing questions of WWII: was Japan seeking peace with the Allies more than a year before the war ended? He believes the wreckage of a Japanese submarine sunk by US warplanes on June 23, 1944, could contain a peace proposal from Tokyo. He plans to raise the sub, the I-52, from 5500 metres below the surface between Cape Verde and Barbados. The u-boat was carrying crew of 112, two tonnes of gold and opium. Declassified documents show that Japan's assistant naval attache had been in secret talks with Allen Dulles.
Wartime diary solves mystery of Hess's secret flight
A brief entry in the diary of the wife of a British spy has led to the discovery of the true story behind one of the greatest mysteries of WWII - the bizarre flight to Britain in 1941 of Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess. No single incident in Britain's wartime history has given birth to so many conspiracy theories, all of them centred on an alleged plot by the intelligence services to lure Hess to Britain.
Golden cauldron evokes mystery of hidden Nazi gold
A mysterious golden cauldron found in a Bavarian lake has rekindled a fascination with Nazi gold hidden in the Alps. The Bavarian government said it was claiming ownership of the 10.5 kg solid gold vessel found by an amateur diver at the bottom of Lake Chiemsee. Archaeologists said the cauldron, adorned with a relief of mythical Celtic and Indo-Germanic figures, may have been made by the Nazis. It is estimated to be worth 100,000 euros based on the weight of its gold. This could lure treasure hunters to the Alps which the Nazis saw as their last bastion, and which became the destination for gold shipments from Berlin in the dying days of the Third Reich.
Who really turned Anne Frank over to the Nazis?
It was an anonymous phone call in the hot summer of 1944 which led the Gestapo and Dutch security police to the concealed annexe in a canalside house where Anne Frank and her family had hidden for almost two years. For almost 60 years, the id of that informant has remained a mystery to historians and the most dogged Nazi hunters. But Dutch government historians disclosed that two new theories about who betrayed 15-year-old Jewish schoolgirl Anne Frank to the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam are so compelling that they are reopening their investigations.
Diver hunt for sunken WW2 gold treasure stolen by the Nazis
A team of divers has been given permission to search for sunken treasure taken from Greek Jews. Gold coins and jewels worth $2bn were taken by Max Merten, the German administrator of Thessaloniki. The treasure was loaded onto a fishing vessel and sunk off the Peloponnese in 1943. Merten was briefly jailed when he travelled back to Greece in 1957 posing as a tourist, presumably to try and fetch the gold. A mystery informant told the Jewish Council that he had shared a cell with Merten, who had given him maps showing where the treasure lay. The officials were sceptical until he gave details of the valuables, which could only have come from Merten.